The famous and successful racing management-simulation strategy video game series developed by British video game developer, Playsport Games got its third installment. In this game, as the title says, you have the chance to manage a motorsports team and lead them into four tiers of competition.
Following the best game in the series, Motorsport Manager for PC, which was a combination of classic Grand Prix and Football Manager games, this game resisted the temptation to directly port the desktop smash hit. MMM3 follows the footsteps of its predecessors, improving the formula with some changes that fit the game perfectly and up the quality of previous mobile games
The improvements can be seen with the introduction of GT and Endurance racing, together with the addition of invitational events. This makes for a more diverse offering and a somewhat broader winder on the world of motorsport. No matter the career route you’ve chosen, the main goal of the game is to advance up the motorsport ladder, developing drivers, facilities and supplier networks as you go. MM3 offers the opportunity to expand at a fast pace, moving up the ladder with each season, or to stay put and dominate before progressing. The game’s focus moves between decisions back at base and the race weekend.
The tendency for innovation is clear in qualifying, with a new card-based system. The main trait of the system is that it offers risk against reward approach that will either decide the race for a fraction of a second or bust your engine, bringing you back to the drawing board. That’s enforced through driver statistics with their allocated points being set against a randomized allocation for each set-up perk. Go over the allocation and you’re back to square one without perks as qualifying ticks down. It’s simplistic, but highly engaging and can be the key factor for success. The pitstop menus and the racing interface follow the game series’ established style.
This game looks great, and it’s apparent a lot of work has gone into the making of the 3D world of the tracks. The thing that can cause irritation could be the fact that cars are represented by simple circular icons. It’s pretty much a letdown, especially considering how enjoyable and engaging it is to build a machine for the team.
The augmented reality that launches with iOS devices is a great technical demonstration and fits the gaming industry’s greater push for mainstream virtual reality. But in MMM3, it’s clunky and very sensitive to your environment, making it far from ideal anywhere outside of your kitchen table or desk – which is rather limiting for a mobile game.
A big part of the game’s launch was AR support and the six racing championships the game offered to players. The most difficult and challenging championships are the endurance ones, made akin to 24 hours of LeMans.
There are 45-minute races, in which you have to maintain the equilibrium between driving times of three teams, and to look after tire health and fuel level. It’s a lot to take in at once, with running two cars adding extra difficulty. You will face the same balancing routine in the highest level of single-seat races, which take a lot of inspiration from Formula 1. You even have a system to recover energy, which you can turn on at any point. It is a valuable tool on track, but it’s also a key element in entering and exiting pit stop.
Talking about innovation, there’s a new gameplay system called “influence”, and rightfully so. Influence is earned mainly by signing sponsorship deals and it can be a turning point in signing an indecisive new driver. The points earned are used to improve stats, which makes the driver an important aspect, especially with paid drivers who can now help struggling teams.
As proof that managing motorsports team isn’t always serious business, there are some moments with a great sense of humor. The biggest source of funny remarks is a north HQ builder who switches between Geordie and Yorkshire manner of speech at will. Following the stepping down of the F1 president Bernie Ecclestone, the game itself replaced his expy Ernie Hecklerock by the most American guy ever, called Chuck Collins.
MMM3 is a game you have to play if you’re into racing sims. Even those new to management games won’t be left out thanks to the hand-holding tutorial aspect. Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 is for sure the most complex and detailed Motorsport Manager game, mostly because of deliberate gameplay elements which helped the game retain all the qualities that made it so good on the desktop.